Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love Songs I Like: Musical Theatre Edition

Despite my recent criticisms of love songs, I'm not completely jaded and heartless. I'm just very picky (my siblings will attest to this). However, there are some love songs out there that will make my heart grow three sizes whenever I hear them. Here are some highlights from the world of musical theatre. However, here is a fair warning: despite the saccharine reputation that musicals have gotten over the years, many of the love songs I like from musicals are not particularly happy...

"Hold My Hand" by Jeff Blumenkrantz

I came across this song on Seth Rudetsky's site, and I was completely won over by it. Although this number was cut from the musical it was intended for, it is so lovely and heartfelt that very little context is needed to enjoy it as a standalone song. While the singer was supposed to be a gay composer who is looking for love, the song speaks to anyone who is searching for love with very little success. What is particularly moving about it is that the singer isn't looking for a grand gesture or earth-shattering passion; he just wants someone to hold his hand, which is perhaps one of the sweetest sentiments I have heard in a long time.

ETA: If you like the song as much as I do, the sheet music is available at Jeff Blumenkrantz's website. You can also get the podcast where he performs and briefly discusses the song.

"Stars and the Moon," written by Jason Robert Brown, performed by Audra McDonald

Unlike the singer in "Hold My Hand," the singer of "Stars and the Moon" has a very specific paramour in mind, specifically one with a great deal of money. She refuses two men who offer her grand gestures (they both offer her the "stars and the moon" for crying out loud), marries someone who is very wealthy, and eventually realizes her mistake. Furthermore, the person performing this song is the awesome Audra McDonald. Quite frankly, Private Practice would be a much better show if they just featured Audra and Taye Diggs singing 75% of the time.

"I'd Give It All For You," written by Jason Robert Brown, performed by Jason Robert Brown and Shoshana Bean

I know that I'm laying on the Jason Robert Brown love a little heavy, but I adore this song. However, this song actually seems to end on a hopeful note. Unlike the woman in "Stars and the Moon," these two lovers, who apparently decided that they wanted something different from a relationship, are able to come to their senses and realize that all they really want is each other. Oh, what most of us wouldn't give for a chance to have a romance related do-over.